The Border real estate industry is in shock after the sudden death of Ray White Wodonga principal Fran Wernert.
The passionate wife, mother and businesswoman died tragically on Saturday morning at the age of just 53 after a medical episode and is this week being remembered as a strong leader who worked hard to establish a successful business with friend and co-owner Narelle Robinson.
The pair started the Wodonga franchise in September 2016 with Fran being particular about providing exceptional service to her clients.
"She often talked of her ambition of being the most trusted source of real estate in town," Ray White Victoria and Tasmania chief executive Stephen Dullens said.
"Fran has been a long-term member of the Ray White family, initially from 2001 to 2008 before returning to establish her own business with Narelle Robinson nearly five years ago.
"The driving force behind property management, as well as a strong leader and mentor within Ray White Wodonga, Fran was both liked and respected by all who came into contact with her.
"Fran has many friends within the Ray White group and wider real estate industry, no doubt to whom this news will be a shock."
Narelle and the team at Ray White Wodonga posted a tribute to their dear friend on the business Facebook page and said Fran was a "driving force" behind the establishment of the business.
"Fran worked hard for her customers to ensure they had a positive experience when renting their home, which was often stressful," the statement said.
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"She set a fantastic example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication and was a fantastic teacher for those who worked with her.
"More importantly, Fran was a beautiful person who was universally liked and respected by all who came into contact with her.
"We'd like to thank family, friends and the community for the outpouring of love and support we have received.
"Something we certainly appreciate at this difficult time. Our office doors will be closed temporarily and we will be working in the background."
Mr Dullens said the Ray White group was working with Fran's Wodonga colleagues to provide support at this difficult time.
Fran is survived by her husband Matt Wernert and two daughters Jorja and Haylie.
"We are absolutely devastated that we have lost our wonderful Franny. An amazing wife and mother," Mr Wernert said in an online tribute to his wife.
"Her dedication to her personal family and her beloved second family at Ray White Wodonga was second to none."
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